Thirteen soldiers have been killed and 48 more injured in a car bomb attack which hit a bus transporting off-duty military personnel in the central Turkish city of Kayseri.
Saturday’s blast is likely to further anger a public frustrated by a string of deadly attacks, several which have been claimed by Kurdish militants.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak likened the bus attack to the twin bombings outside the stadium of Istanbul soccer team Besiktas last Saturday that left 44 dead and more than 150 wounded.
— Mehmet Dikbayir (@dikbayir_en) December 17, 2016
Those attacks, which targeted police, were later claimed by an offshoot of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
“The car bomb attack resembles the Besiktas attack in terms of its style,” he told a group of reporters, adding that it would not put Turkey off of its goal of fighting militancy.
The blast hit as the bus passed by a car believed to be packed with explosives, Turkey’s Dogan news agency said. It occurred near the campus of Erciyes University in Kayseri, broadcaster NTV reported.
Turkey faces multiple security threats including spillover from the fight against Islamic State in northern Syria, where it is a member of a US-led coalition against the militant group.
It also faces regular attacks from Kurdish militants, who have been waging a three-decade insurgency for autonomy in largely Kurdish southeast Turkey.